Best cafés in Wan Chai and Causeway Bay
With branches in Wan Chai, Mong Kok, Sheung Wan and Tsim Sha Tsui, it’s hard to believe that 18 Grams first started out at this small espresso bar in Causeway Bay. Managed by a world-class barista judge, 18 Grams believes in fresh, locally-roasted coffee beans. Their espresso-based coffee has helped create and dominate the Hong Kong coffee scene. Pop along to Canon Street to see where it all began and sip a perfectly ratioed cup of coffee.
Purveyor of healthy juices and coffee, this hipster cafe in Wan Chai is one of the first places in Hong Kong to offer avolatte – latte served in an avocado shell. There’s also an array of smoothies and brews with the option to swap out milk with the wide selection of almond milk, brown rice milk, cashew, hazelnut, coconut and soy. Esporesso-based coffee are a given here, of course.
Starting out as a simple tea shop in Tokyo in 1968, Brook’s Café is the go-to place for Japanese-inspired drinks and desserts. We’re talking deliciously rich Blue Mountain drip coffee and matcha floats and smoothies. Escape the busy streets of Wan Chai and pop along to this underground café for a delectable sweet treat or two.
Housed in the first Leica flagship store in Hong Kong, Cafe Leitz is a coffee and lifestyle concept co-created by the guys behind Interval Coffee Bar. Order from its creative menu featuring a range of coffees – including speciality brews like the espresso lime tonic – as well as Hong Kong-style snacks while testing your new cameras purchases.
There’s no dearth of trendy artisanal coffee shops springing up these days, but when it comes to local brands none are as successful or impressive as The Coffee Academics. Their flagship store is located here in Yiu Wa Street. It’s a spacious venue with a slew of cold brews, handcrafted espresso-based drinks, ice drip coffee, as well as teas, alcoholic drinks and a robust food menu. It’s the perfect place to set up your laptop and get some work done. There’s also a couple of outdoor seats if you’re keen to enjoy some sun.
The Elephant Grounds premises on Star Street is the first of its four branches to offer all-day dining, which includes an impressive lineup of cocktails that feature some of the finest java. You can play it safe with the classic latte or order from their seasonal single origin coffee menu. Try the Espressotini, a mixture of Belvedere vodka, Kirin whisky, Kahlua and espresso, or some of the other more unconventional creations including the beetroot juice latte.
This Japanese minimalist café does seriously good coffee. The beans for Favilla’s special blends come from local North Point roasters Brew Note. And for the hand drip coffee, the staff personally selects the beans to ensure each cup gets the tasting notes they desire. There's a small selection of sandwiches and baked goods – take note of the ice cream waffle – and a cosy reading nook for anyone who wants to take a pause before hopping on a ferry.
This Instagrammable fashion store-slash-café offers a range of coffee and some outrageous frappés and cold drinks topped with mini-mountains of whipped cream on the menu. Not to mention cookies from Cookie Department – it even has exclusive rights to sell Cookie Department's Nutella-filled cookie, giving you reason enough to check out the space sooner than later. Sought to create a female-driven retail experience, Her sells some pretty cool fashion pieces including sneakers, some curated athleisure looks, as well as its own cosmetics, like lip balms and hand creams. You can also purchase reusable holographic bags, in case your muslin tote isn't stylish enough.
Indie espresso bar Nodi, which already operates a crossover concept with Tom Dixon, now occupies a space at the roomy Jack Wills store on Leighton Road. Offering a menu of espresso beverages – including exclusive creations like the salted caramel latte and cold espresso tonic – it’s the perfect place to refuel after a stint of shopping.
A venture started by three French entrepreneurs, La Station offers an authentic European coffee experience in the heart of Wan Chai. The interior decor is a mashup of a European train station and a Hong Kong MTR station – think curved walls and red tiles – which lends the space an intimate vibe. Enjoy their signature coffee, a secret recipe, and desserts provided by Paul Lafayette, who happens to be the patriarch of two of the three owners.
This Aussie-inspired bohemian coffee joint is a far cry from Wan Chai’s seedier corners, flaunting its rustic vibe, both inside and out. Selling a speciality espresso, which was awarded Australia’s Best Espresso, enjoy your java with a lunch cooked freshly on-site. A helpful set of descriptions aids the amateur coffee-taster discern the best choice, while connoisseurs can simply enjoy a fortified brew in a stylish setting.
This Wan Chai newcomer serves up Australian-style brunch food and some excellent lattés. A venture started by the first-runner up in the American world latte art championship, Ninetys keeps things simple and only brews up black, white and filter coffee with only a few varieties – fruity, nutty or a chocolate blend. Either way, they’re all seriously good. Can’t decide? The café offers tastings notes to go with your coffee eg. pairing almonds with your fruity blend java. Food wise, try the lobster benedicts with salty egg hollandise sauce and their signature donut toast: a Greek yoghurt doughnut topped with ice cream and fresh fruits.
This once-hidden Tokyo coffee shop, famous for its espresso and cube-shaped baked custards called ‘kashi’, has closed its original premises in Omotesando, at its charmingly minimalist residential premise, and come to Wan Chai. The regular hot ‘koffee’ is excellent but it’s worth paying extra for the hand drip version. And don’t forget to try the kashi. Small and incredibly moreish, you might want to order a whole box...